“Unfortunately, a beggar has come onto the train. Whatever you do, don’t give any money and tear up the paper that this person is giving you,” the driver announced on a Stockholm commuter line heading south-west to Tumba last week, commuter Stefan Godin told Sveriges Television (SVT).
Beggars on Stockholm’s commuter lines often walk up the aisles of the trains, leaving glossy photographs with text referring to young or sick family members and asking for money. They then walk back down the aisle to collect the papers and any donations.
However, the train driver’s impromptu speech has sparked anger among other commuters.
“From a human value perspective, this did not feel good. There were several of us whose jaw dropped after what we heard on the loudspeaker,” Stefan Godin said.
Mikael Lindskog, head of communications at Stockholmståg, said the train driver’s message was unacceptable.
“It’s completely unacceptable to do something like this, as we have no lawful right to kick people off a train just because they’re begging,” he told SVT.